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March 05, 2005

Democracy in the Middle East

Syria is moving its troops away from central Lebanon.
Good news, right? Thumbs up from DC and the international community?

Nope, and that is the appropriate response. Though Britain, the EU, and Russia are content with this move, the United States and Saudi Arabia are not satisfied. Why you might ask?

Lebanon is in the process of a revolution, overthrowing their oppressive, Syria-backed government to try to start a democracy (hmm, Lebanon joining in with Iraq and Afghanistan starting democracies. Anyone still think our actions in the Middle East are still quagmires?). What's more, Syria is not planning on a full pull-out, but rather just a redeployment near the border. This is unfair to the people of Lebanon. Unless Syria intends to help the Lebanese in setting up fair elections, there is no reason for their troops to remain in the country.

This is an attempt to bring about democracy. The people of Lebanon (and all countries for that matter) deserve the opportunity to choose the government they prefer.

There is also some concern as Syria has a history of supporting terrorism. This is as big a concern now as it was during the War in Iraq, when it was (and for some, still is) a concern that they may have hidden WMDs, and materials and information for creating such weapons for Saddam Hussein from the United States and their coalition of the willing. Syria, obviously, has denied such charges, but produced little to even attempt to disprove the allegations. The Syrian government appears to lack honesty, and this needs to be taken seriously.

This issue needs to be taken more seriously by the other nations. If they continue to look the other way, Lebanon's attempts at a democracy may fail if they are not swift or undeterred. Worse yet, this situation might become the next Tiannemen Square if Syria decides to redeploy back to Beirut.